‘I didn’t know danger was floating behind us on the breeze as we walked along the beach, seeping in through the windows of our picture postcard life.’
The year is 2024. A new social networking site bursts onto the scene. Private Life promises total privacy, with freebies and financial incentives for all. Across the world, a record number of users sign up.
A deadly virus is discovered in a little known African province, and it’s spreading—fast. The UK announces a countrywide vaccination programme. Members of underground group Unicorn believe the disease to be man-made, and that the people are being fed lies driven by a vast conspiracy.
Vicky Keating’s boyfriend, Dex, is working for Unicorn over two hundred miles away when the first UK outbreak is detected in her home town of Shipden, on the Norfolk coast. The town is placed under military controlled quarantine and, despite official assurances that there is no need for panic, within days the virus is unstoppable.
In London, Travis begins to question the nature of the top secret data analysis project he is working on, while in Newcastle there are scores to be settled…
‘Tipping Point’ is the first book in the Project Renova series. And I’m so glad this is a series, because as soon as I’d finished this, I was straight onto the second instalment, ‘Lindisfarne’ (review to follow).
Terry Tyler is one of my favourite contemporary authors. I’ve loved everything I’ve read by her, particularly her family sagas. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of dystopian fiction, but I do love ‘The Walking Dead’ so I may well be a convert, particularly if I can find anything as good as this to read in the genre.
Because it is really, really good. And quite uncomfortably chilling. The build-up to the inevitable spread of the disease and the breakdown of society happens so subtly, so quietly at first, that you realise how horribly feasible it actually is that something like this could happen. And the characters are so believable, so real, that it’s even easier to picture. These people are just like you and me, their lives are like ours – this could happen.
And that’s really what is at the heart of this, and all of Ms Tyler’s books – real people, real lives. She has such a knack of capturing a place, a person, a time that you find yourself completely drawn in, completely absorbed.
Vicky and her daughter Lottie have normal, happy lives. Vicky’s partner Dex is a bit of a conspiracy theorist (justifiably in this case), which annoys Vicky, but she’s happy, loves her home, her town, her job. She’s content. And this makes it so much more gripping and involving when the rug is (very slowly) pulled from under her, and she has to face up to what is really going on.
I like Vicky so much because she doesn’t suddenly turn into a competent, brave, knowledgeable superhero. She’s scared and worried and she misses her hair straighteners! And she’s also terrified for her child and would do anything to protect her. And relationships are really what this book is about – within families and within society as a whole – and what we do to protect those we love and to try to hold on to what makes us feel safe and secure.
This is so well-written and an absolute page-turner.